The Friends are proud to support the Law Library of Congress in bringing first-class legal expertise, resources, media, cutting-edge legal discourse, and events to Washington, for the public, and with the world. 


Annual Programs

The Friends provide financial support to special and ongoing Law Library programs throughout the calendar year, such as international exhibitions, the National Book Festival, scholarships for legal and conservation experts, development efforts, and many others.  The annual Law Library of Congress events traditionally supported by The Friends are free and open to the public.

Law Day

Instituted by the American Bar Association and held annually in national celebration.

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Constitution Day

A federal holiday observed each year to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

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Human Rights Day

Celebrated each year to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948.


Awards & Galas

The Friends also bestow prestigious awards upon luminaries who have contributed significantly to the rule of law.  These hallmark award programs allow us to celebrate not only the contributions of these special individuals but the remarkable resources of the Law Library of Congress.

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The Blackstone Award

This award is named for Sir William Blackstone (1723–1780), the English jurist and politician whose work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, transformed the study of the common law.

The Wickersham Award

This award is given in the name of Friends of the Law Library of Congress Founder, George W. Wickersham (1858–1936), an American lawyer and Presidential Cabinet Secretary.  It is the Friends top award.

Previous recipients include:

John Paul Stevens

William C. Burton (Received the first Blackstone Award, 2011)

Harold Hongju Koh

Sandra Day O’Connor

Patricia Wald

Dwight D. Opperman

George J. Mitchell

Charles F.C. Ruff

Jamie Gorelick

Talbot D’Alemberte

Lloyd Cutler

William T. Colman

William J. Brennan

James A. Baker, III

Louis Auchincloss


Special Programs

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, and Law Librarian of Congress David Mao cut a ribbon to open a 2014 Magna Carta exhibit at the Library of Congress. The commemorative exhibit was supported by The Friends and several members of The Friends Board of Governors.       

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, and Law Librarian of Congress David Mao cut a ribbon to open a 2014 Magna Carta exhibit at the Library of Congress. The commemorative exhibit was supported by The Friends and several members of The Friends Board of Governors.       

'Magna Carta: Muse & Mentor'

The Friends of the Library of Congress are deeply proud and honored to have supported coordination and financial support for this truly historic Washington program.  

Commemorating the 800th anniversary of the issue of Magna Carta, the Library of Congress hosted a series of programs and exhibition, Magna Carta: Muse & Mentor, in partnership with the Lincoln Cathedral from November 6, 2014, through January 19, 2015.  At centerpiece was the 1215 Lincoln Cathedral Magna Carta sealed by King John on display in the Library's great hall.

The 10-week exhibition organized through the Library of Congress and with support of generous friends was ceremoniously opened in an evening gala by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal provided remarks along with Librarian of Congress James Billington, Law Librarian of Congress David Mao, and the Very Rev. Philip Buckler.  A keynote address was delivered by Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Antonin Scalia. Charles Humphries served as master of ceremonies.